Government intends to fast track the merger of BotswanaPost and Botswana Savings Bank in a bid to create a strong commercial bank that can take the traditional banks head-on, top government official said on Friday.
“We are looking at a commercial bank that can effectively compete with other commercial banks,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mabua Mabua, said.
Government wants the proposed Postal bank to be tailor-made along the lines of the giant Japanese Postal Bank or the South African Post Bank.
“It should be able to compete at retail and other levels, including with the ATMs,” he added.
His comments come at a time when the stakeholders are said to have completed their technical work on advising government and the ministry of Transport and Communication is working on notes for the cabinet.
If the model is approved by cabinet then they will work on the formulation of the transitional bill ÔÇô that will phase out the existing statues governing the operation the two organisations.
“The idea is to have a bill calling for the merger of the two organisations being approved by parliament at the July session,” Mabua said.
He said the proposed bank will use the existing BotswanaPost network as its backbone and it is also expected to include the under-banked and unbanked people into the financial system. Over 50 percent of Batswana of working aged are unbanked.
“The proposed organisation should be able to use BotswanaPost coverage to compete with other banks,” he added.
The merger decision followed the decision by BotswanaPost to form a postal bank.
“… this development provides an opportunity for growth for the Group and is a source of excitement as it will put us ahead of many participants in the Postal World, where the race towards enhancing operational performance through postal financial services took off in earnest after the 2008 world postal congress,” Chief Executive Officer of BotswanaPost, Pele Moleta, said in the last annual report.
BotswanaPost is already upgrading its IT services across the country to enable “quicker and faster” transactions. The Postal bank is expected to use the BotswanaPost’s 121 branches, which are sprawled across the country, to compete against its rivals.